Since the start of the war in Syria 10 years ago, the lives of Syrian people have been under threat. Back in 2011, the situation quickly shifted from localised protests to a full-scale war, leading to a devastating humanitarian situation that persists a decade later. In the course of 10 years, 12 million Syrians – half the pre-conflict population – have been forced to flee the conflict and leave their homes behind, often multiple times, making it the biggest displacement crisis of this century. Many of them are still displaced today.
A significant part of Syria’s infrastructure has also been destroyed during the years of conflict. Notably, Syria’s relatively functional health system has been devastated. Hundreds of medical facilities have been bombed, large numbers of medical staff have been killed or have fled, and there are still desperate shortages of medical supplies in many parts of the country. Today, the medical needs of the Syrian population are huge.
Our Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams have been responding to the crisis in Syria since its start. We have been providing support to people in need across different areas of the country: from donating medical supplies, to setting up hospitals and clinics, to providing remote support to medical facilities and networks of doctors in areas that MSF could not access directly. Today, MSF is providing support to Syrians within Syria as well as in various neighbouring countries that host Syrian refugees.
As we commemorate the 10 year-anniversary of the Syrian War, we share with you an insightful and captivating multimedia documentary we put together titled No Way Out.
This documentary relates some of their journeys into exile and the extreme violence they have personally experienced or witnessed.
Based on accounts recorded early this year from 10 people displaced in Idlib and archive photographs and videos taken by Syrian photographers and journalists, No Way Out looks back at the Syrian conflict through the faces and words of some of its victims. This four-part multimedia documentary presents stories from a decade-long.
- Bombed - The first part provides a snapshot of the massive airstrikes—including on medical facilities that have been targets since the conflict began—and bombing in February 2012 of the city of Homs. Mustafa Ajaj, director of a healthcare facility in Idlib’s Deir Hassan camp, and surgeon Mazen Al Saud, who was working in Maarat Al Numan hospital when it was bombed in February 2016, relate the relentless attacks on medical facilities and health workers. Then journalist Tarek Baderkhan and citizen reporter Abu Alaa describe the offensives launched in 2011 on their hometown Homs.
- Persecuted - The second part describes the extreme violence endured by the people of Syria and lack of pity shown them by any of the forces involved in the conflict. Retired Imad Youssef recounts the chemical attacks launched in Eastern Ghouta on 21 August 2013, and teacher Khalaf al Malla and homemaker Fatima Al Ali the fall of Raqqa to the Islamic State group (IS). Whereas Khalaf fled the barbarity of IS in 2014, Fatima survived the airstrikes the international coalition launched in June 2017 as part of their offensive to re-take the city.
- Besieged – The third part of the documentary focuses on the sieges of Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta through the memories of community leader Ali Hajj Jasem, who suffered the food and drug shortages and daily airstrikes in east Aleppo, and photographer Anas Al Kharboutli from the suburbs of Damascus who has covered the war in his country since it began.
- Abandoned – The fourth and final part takes us to Idlib as it is today, mired in combat and economic crisis. Idlib is hometown to Amani Al Ali, an artist specialised in drawing caricatures. She has always lived in the city and refuses to abandon her mother to the airstrikes. Amani is the principal participant in a short film closing the documentary.